Title: A Dead American In Paris (Salazar Book 2) by Seth Lynch
Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
Date Published: 9th April 2018
Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Historical
Arty Homebrook lived and died in a world of sleaze which stretched from Chicago to Paris but never beyond the gutter.
He’d been sleeping with Madame Fulton, which is why Harry Fulton promised to kill him. So far as the Paris Police are concerned it’s an open and shut case. Harry’s father has other ideas and hires Salazar to investigate.
As Salazar gets to grips with the case he’s dragged reluctantly into an unpleasant underworld of infidelity, blackmail, backstreet abortions and murder.
Salazar is far too inquisitive to walk away and far too stubborn to know what’s for the best. So he wakes up each hungover morning, blinks into the sunlight, and presses on until it’s his life on the line. Then he presses on some more, just for the hell of it.
I want to say a huge thank you to Fahrenheit Press for my copy of this book and Emma Welton of Damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour.
It was no surprise to anyone that Arty Homebrook ended up stabbed to death in his dingy little flat. He had affairs with married women, blackmailed desperate people and ran scheme after scheme. The police only have one suspect, Harry Fulton who had been overheard threatening to kill anyone who slept with his wife, something Homebrook had been doing for months. Salazar is tasked by Fulton’s rich father to investigate but he isn’t convinced of Harry Fulton’s innocence.
The more Salazar digs, the deeper he becomes embroiled in Arty’s lies and deceit. Can he solve the case without losing himself?
So this is the second in the Salazar series but to me it worked perfectly well as a stand-alone.
Now this is how you write a historical novel! The language fit, the setting was vivid and the characters felt right for the time period. It is a beautifully written, almost poetic at times but it is also quite dark. Set in the 1930’s, an era I’m fond of, it shows the real seedy underbelly and seemingly unending poverty of Paris, a place usually associated with romance.
This really reminds me of those hardboiled detective novels of the 1950’s, the murder victim is utterly despicable but the people around him are not much better either!
Then we have the detective. Salazar is sarcastic, intelligent but also a damaged soul. Still suffering from what we’d call post traumatic stress disorder, back in those days they’d probably call it melancholy, from the first world war everyday is a battle for him. He sees ghosts, suffers from paranoia and often blacks out not remembering what he’s done which for a private investigator makes his job that much harder but he never gives up.
The book also deals with the dark topic of back street abortion, women being told not to use contraception but shunned if they ended up with an unwanted pregnancy and what they had to suffer through to terminate a child was absolutely barbaric!
I did cringe a little at the way crime scenes were treated by the police. People smoking, ransacking and stealing from them with little regard for persevering evidence but I suppose back in those days there wasn’t much in the way of forensics.
Overall a dark and compelling historical mystery that you can lose yourself in.
About Seth Lynch:
Born and brought up in the West of England, Seth has also lived in Carcassonne, Zurich and the Isle of Man.
With two daughters, his writing time is the period spent in cafés as the girls do gym, dance and drama lessons.
Seth’s Social Media:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seth-Lynch/e/B00E7SZ3FS/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Buy Seth Lynch’s book direct from Fahrenheit Press:
A Citizen of Nowhere (Salazar Book 1): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_a_citizen_of_nowhere.html
A Dead American in Paris (Salazar Book 2): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_a_dead_american_in_paris.html
The Paris Ripper (Chief Inspector Belmont Book 1): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_the_paris_ripper.html